80% of FET projects generate radically new ideas

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A study published by European researchers indicates that eight out of ten projects of Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) funded by the European Union generate "radically new" ideas. FET aims to turn the scientific base of Europe into a competitive advantage. The plan promotes high-risk research with potential advances that could have a significant technological or social impact. The study analyzed 224 FET projects completed between 2007 and 2014 in the Seventh Framework Program.

This advance in research, which analyzes impacts on the generation of knowledge, on people, on the economy and on society, is based on collaborative, interdisciplinary and application-oriented contexts.

The Future Emerging Technologies (FET) program of the European Commission provides the funding environment for this new mode of research. It also supports "basic research inspired by the use", which is based on curiosity with a possible application in mind. In this report the impacts of the FET program were analyzed using bibliometrics, an online survey and case studies.

The FET program is a unique research funding program within the European research funding landscape. Its uniqueness is due to its emphasis on novelty, interdisciplinarity and collaboration, as well as its specific focus on technology and the relevance of the application. As such, the FET program is an important part of the financing landscape of European research. The results of this impact study suggest that FET research should be strengthened in the future as it has specific and highly relevant impacts in the four impact areas considered.